Steel drums were recently tested to determine their integrity when exposed to extreme fire situations. The program tested steel drums stacked 2, 3, and 4 high under an AFFF sprinkler system. The drums fitted with non-metallic closures (ie: nylon fittings) met the National Fire Protections Associations definiteion of a "Relieving-Style Container" and performed beyond expectations. Unlike alternative containers made form plastic resisns or paper, the steel containers did not melt or distort, did not lose their contents and fuel the fire, and did not fall from their stacking heights. Though the current NFPA 30 (1996 edition) only recognizes 2-high storage for steel drums fitted with pressure relief devices, it is expected that these tests will result in the ability for users to double storage height when meeting these storage conditions.
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 1998
Hazmat employers who fail to provide training or maintain test records account for more than one third of the DOT‘s enforcement actions pertaining to violations of the hazardous materials transportation regulations. Now, more than ever — with IATA, ICAO and IMDG Code regulation changes effective January 1, 1999 — is the time to review your training records. The Hazardous Materials Advisory Council (HMAC) provides initial and recurrent training on the basics of ground, air and water transportation. They also provide specialized training courses that deal with hazarous wastes, European road and rail, radioactive materials, classification and performance-oriented packaging. HMAC’s hazardous materials transportation training courses meet applicable initial and recurrent training requirements as specified by subpart H of Part 172 of the US DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations. For more information visit www.hmac.org or call 800–634–1598.
In order to further refine our in house drum inventory and shipping verification, we have recently enhanced our durable marking procedure. As drums are produced or selected from stock, we apply a durable label to each UN drum prior to shipment. The label contains the UN Certification, Order number and now the Product Number. This information is essential for complete traceability and verification of each drum. Therefore each UN drum is shipped with a coded durable label, which then becomes the key to access the tracking information.
About 60% of the hazardous materials transported within the United States, travels aboard commercial aircraft making almost every airplane a hazardous material transporter. Resulting from recent incidents involving negligent handling of these materials, the DOT and the FAA have significantly increased the fines levied for transport violations. As recently as this year, SabreTech, an aircraft maintenance company, was fined $2.25 million for improperly packaging dangerous goods aboard a Valuejet that crashed in 1996 and killed 110 people. Therefore, transport of hazardous materials should be closely monitored from the package selection process to filling and closure to selection of a transport carrier… do not presume that the least expensive option will also offer the least amount of risk! As the DOT increases their enforcement, you want to take precautions to insure risk-reduced shipments.
Integral to the successful performance of an Open Head drum, the gasket provides the critical seal between success and failure in the event of an incident. Critical to the gasket itself, the methods used to bond the connecting ends are either gluing or vulcanizing. Gluing the ends provides a quick and convenient solution, but this seam does not withstand long term contact with a liquid product. Vulcanizing yields a rubber treated surface that is treated with sulfur and subjected to a heat source. This resulting seam exceeds the cohesive force of the original material, and is capable of withstanding the destructive forces applied to the gasket. For all of the Skolnik‘s Liquid UN drums, only vulcanized Natural Rubber, EPDM or Neoprene gaskets are certified.
The recent crash of Swissair #111 near Halifax is clearly under an immense bog of investigation. Among the airline cargo industry, there is a growing awareness of intentionally and unintentionally shipping undeclared hazardous materials, which are place on board commercial aircraft. Due to the nature of the last minutes of the flight, a problem had occurred which grew to disastrous proportions. Not withstanding, the cargo manifests and contents are under close examination. As shippers, you are responsible to correctly identify and declare any hazardous material components that are a part of shipment. Failure to do so not only could cause a potential fine, but could cause a needless accident.